newbie has a stupid chipset question

By hatchmar ยท 10 replies
Aug 2, 2005
  1. ok, I am truely sorry but.. when I was shopping for a motherboard, almost all of the descripitions say "BASED on xxxxxx chipset" not "It HAS XXX chipset" so ummm does this mean I still need to buy a chipset? I know I need a CPU and I have read about chipsets and what they are, I just dont know what the advertisements are saying.
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    They are "based" on that chipset because it "HAS" it. But a motherboard is comprised of much more then just the chipset. This is why one motherboard is different from another, but both are "based" on the same chipset. But all the rest is different.
    Here is how to go about building your system:

    Step 1) What will you do with it? What is the MOST intense thing? This would be like gaming (half life 2, Battlefield2 etc...). CAD design? Movie production? Audio encoding?

    Step 2) Pick a processor. A very and debatable suggestion is: if you are gaming, go AMD, if you are processing (CAD, audio, encoding etc) go Intel.

    Step 3) Pick a motherboard to support the processor you want. If you go with the AMD, perhaps get a motherboard with the NForce3 Ultra chipset. This is for Socket 939 Athlon 64-bit CPU.

    Step 4) Once you deside what CPU to go with, browse a shopping site like all our favorite, or, and search by that CPU socket.

    Step 5) Once you choose a motherboard that has the features you want, read the reviews!

    Basically you need to pick out these parts, usually in this order:

    1) CPU
    2) Motherboard
    3) RAM
    4) Video
    5) Hard Drives
    6) Optical Drives
    7) Throw in a floppy!
    8) Find a case you like that has a good power supply (at least 350watts)

    When deciding what parts to buy, it all depends on the motherboard! For example: If the motherboard has PCI-X and NOT AGP, you will have to buy a PCI-X video card. So choose your video card after you know what motherboard you get.
    Or maybe choose a hard drive based on what the motherboard gives you, IDE or S-ATA? Go RAID?

    And for a couple links, perhaps check out this motherboard:
    And this CPU:

    Notice how the Motherboard and CPU match the socket (939). Also notice the chipset (nForce3 Ultra). Of course, you will find this chipset on many other boards from many other manufacturers. Also notice that the nForce3 has an AGP 8x/4x slot, but similar boards with nForce4 has PCI-X and NOT AGP. This determines your video card requirements.

    Anyways, that is my take on it. Hope you got a pinch of knowledge out of this thread!
  3. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    yes, and when getting an a64, make sure it is NOT one using a newcastle core, and that is is based on a 90nm process.
  4. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you both very much, I really do appreciate it!and I will definaetly check out zipzoomfly, I havnt heard of that one yet, I have looked on newegg and tigerdirect. zep-I have been reading as much as I can and I did see a very informative thread that you were involved in about why not to use newcastle core and If I go with AMD, I will be sure to watch out for that. I did buy an Asus Mobo before I discovered this wonderful website so It looks like for this build, I am limited to Intel P4, but If all goes well, I do plan on building another more geared towards gaming. for now, I am just trying to build a system for the family to use for basic computing.

    Again... thank you for the information. If theres anything I can do in return ill try my best but Im just a dumb ol CNC programmer.
  5. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    here is another question under the stupid question catagory: I am almost definaetly going to use the HD that I have now in this new computer im building, not so much to save money but more to save the hassle of reinstalling all my software and finding all the reg codes, backing up data and making sure that I have all the little documents and notes I have scattered all over my HD over the last 2 years etc. since my old comp came with the OS already installed and had no OS disk, will there be any conflicts when windows sees that there is a different mobo and cpu? its XP home edition service pack 2 O/S.
  6. i_need_answers

    i_need_answers TS Rookie Posts: 76

    I would back up all of your data just in case. Because when I put a new motherboard in my HP it wouldn't boot. Also it probably depends on what brand your computer is.
  7. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    if you change the motherboard, windows will have to be reinstalled. it is possible to change your board and get windows to boot, but this is a tricky and unnessecary procedure.
  8. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well, mine is an HP also. pavilion 753n. I did back up "my documents" folder which has most of the important document/entertainment type stuff in it, Im just worried about software that I have installed that were apps that I downloaded and then paid for the registrations. I am sure I could just contact each vendor, but It will be a pain. If I were to backup the "Program filles" folder AND the registry, do you think I could get all my stuff back after reinstalling the O/S? I can get XP pretty cheap through my employer so that part is no big deal. The only thing is I will probably have to use like 16 dvd's to backup that folder.
  9. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ill google that last question, I can't be the only person in the world who doesnt want to lose their applications
  10. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh swell:/ looks like ill need to set aside about 3 days of reinstalling software and calling many many companies and begging for my reg codes. I wish I didn't have ADHD, maybe then i'd be a little more organized and have the paitence to keep all that stuff in one place where I could easily find it
  11. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    When you buy stuff and get registrations, they usually send you those codes in E-mail. I take it you didn't save or print any of those E-mails?

    Also, most program show your registration info IN the program. For example, from Help-About menu. Or Help-Registration. If so, write down your info from there.

    Also, when you buy certain programs online, they often have an account (user/pass) so you can log in and download your software again.

    Your last option could be, buy a new hard drive to load XP on, and put the old one as slave so you can slowly copy stuff back piece by piece.

    Lastly, if it's just a simple home box you are building, you might go with AMD, just because it's cheaper. And if you are not doing anything intense on the box, or ever plan to, you may save even more money by buying 32-bit CPUs instead, rather then go 64-bit. Just depends on price I guess. And what you can find.

    glad we could help though!
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